Route:  The Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK 50 Mile Relay and Ultramarathon
Mileage:  50.0. There are 12 legs varying in length from 2.8 miles to 6.2 miles. Individual leg maps are here.
Hillage: One climb and one descent of over 900 ft., and numerous 500+ ft climbs make theTussey mOUnTaiNBACK 50 Mile Relay and Ultramarathon a very challenging race. No runner on a relay team will escape some tough hill running.

Greatest elevation change: Nearly 1100 ft.
Average Grade: 3%. But that's average. Here are some of the local grades:

Ascent of Little Flat:  The first hill rises 772 feet in the first 5 kilometers from the starting line. The average grade is 5%, and is significantly steeper in parts.
Descent to Whipple Dam:  The long downhill to Whipple Dam from Little Flat descends nearly 1100 ft in 7.6 miles, an average 2.7 % grade.
Beidleheimer Road: At mile 15 on Beidleheimer Rd there is an ascent of 480 ft in 1.4 miles. Grade: 6.5%. The long downslope to mile 21 descends just over 500 ft in 4.7 miles. Grade: 2%
Penn Roosevelt Hill: The big hill in the middle of the course starts ascending at mile 21 and finishes 930 ft higher at the start of mile 29 on Crowfield Rd a couple of miles past Penn Roosevelt State Park. Grade: 2.3%. But don't let the low number fool you! The long hills wears you down, and there are some steep sections. The downhill side is an easy descent of nearly 700 ft in about 8.7 miles.
Bear Meadows Bedevilment: The final long uphill starts on Krise Valley Rd at mile 37. It ascends 800 ft in 5.8 miles. The peak is on Treaster Kettle Rd near Bear Meadows Rd. Grade: 2.6%. The last bit is the steepest. After a short descent on Bear Meadows Rd to the turnaround on Wampler Rd, the course revisits the peak from a different side. Ascending Bear Meadows Rd., the high point is just past its intersection with Treaster Kettle Rd. The final downhill on Bear Meadows Rd descends 740 ft in just under 5 miles. Grade: 3%

Description:  The Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK 50 Mile Relay is run mostly on gravel roads in the Rothrock State Forest near State College, Pennsylvania. The relay starts just outside of the parking lot of the Tussey Mountain Ski Area, which is about 6 miles outside of State College off of US Rte 322. Take Rte 322 (Business) East from State College. This is called South Atherton Street in State College. About 2 miles past Boalsburg, PA, there is a sign for the Tussey Mountain Ski Area. Make a right at the sign onto Bear Meadows Rd. Less than a mile up the road is the Tussey Mountain Ski Area. Park in the parking lot.

The Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK 50 Mile Relay and Ultramarathon Course is a USATF certified course (Certificate # PA 02020 WB).

There is a very detailed description of the course, including landmarks, on the Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK Relay web site. There is also a jumbo version of the course map shown below. 

Remarks: The Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK 50 Mile Relay began in 2000. That year, over a dozen teams and one solo "ultra" covered the course during a beautiful fall day. In 2003, there were 47 teams and 20 ultras (19 of whom finished!). The race is attracting teams from around the East for a great mountain run during "fall colors" season. You can find out a lot about the race on the Nittany Valley Running Club's web pages for the race.

Leg Maps: Leg Maps
The links are to PDF files containing maps and elevation profiles of the individual legs.
Leg 1 - Difficult
Leg 7 - Moderate
Leg 2 - Easy
Leg 8 - Easy
Leg 3 - Easy
Leg 9 - Easy
Leg 4 - Difficult
Leg 10 - Difficult
Leg 5 - Easy
Leg 11 - Moderate/Difficult
Leg 6 - Moderate              
Leg 12 - Easy


                       Added: 09/10